Schneider Electric delivers Industry 4.0 & IIoT Products

  • January 29, 2016
  • Schneider Electric
  • Feature

By Bill Lydon, Editor

Schneider Electric continues a buildout of products to help users implement Industry 4.0 and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) features.  The company demonstrated new products and discussed this important shift in industrial automation during the SPS IPC Drives on November 24-26, 2015 in Nuremberg, Germany. 

Clemens Blum, Executive Vice President of Schneider Electric’s Industry Business, discussed the role played by smart machines enabled by Internet of Things (IoT) technology. End users are empowered by the integration of Internet connected devices, adoption of automated components, and access to real-time production data. Blum discussed how this is an evolution that Schneider Electric is supporting with current offerings and is committed to development of future products for users to build smarter machines and create IoT driven manufacturing operations. “The industrial Internet of things is bringing about a world where smart connected products and systems operate as part of larger systems of systems,” said Blum. “In our world, smart plants and machines with intelligence embedded at their core cooperate to enable the Smart Enterprise where tangible business value is realized through improvements in efficiency and profitability, increased cyber security, and innovation, and better management of safety, performance and environmental impact.” Blum noted this is part of a continuum with its origins with Schneider Electric’s Transparent Ready and Transparent Factory. In 1997 Schneider Electric launched the first PLC with Ethernet on board and embedded Web servers which has been the company standard on all new offerings. These features are fundamental for leveraging and gaining the benefits from the Industrial Internet of Things.

Modicon M580 ePAC

Blum described the Schneider Electric Modicon M580 ePAC as the first in the market with a fully standard Ethernet backplane enabling partners to develop their own modules. He also stated that this is the first controller on the market available today that facilitates manufacturing operations and IT convergence in the IoT architecture.

“Now the whole industry understands where the benefit is of an open, scalable, transparent architecture in an automation system and what kind of additional services you can offer when you have real-time based information available in a format which makes sense to the operator up to the CEO.” 

- Clemens Blum, Executive Vice President of Schneider Electric’s Industry Business

Three Key Elements

Clemens Blum described three key elements where Schneider Electric focuses, namely Asset Performance, Smart Enterprise Control, and Augmented Operators. Asset performance uses cost-effective wireless sensors, easy cloud conductivity including wired area networks and data analytics to improve performance assets. Smart Enterprise Control enables efficient integration of production, and supply chain systems to improve overall efficiency and flexibility. Augmented operators are the combination of mobile devices, data analytics, augmented reality, and transparent conductivity that increase operator productivity.

Drives with Embedded Control & Communications

Jean-Marie Amann, Vice President Drive Products, described Schneider Electric’s Altivar drives which are designed to increase efficiency and reduce costs.  They leverage embedded functions, including:

  • Embedded Web Server using HTML5
  • Embedded Control (PLC, RTU, HMI)
  • Embedded FTT/DTM Technology
  • Embedded Power measurement and Energy dashboard
  • Embedded process monitoring and control
  • PLCopen Compliant Libraries
  • Low Harmonics (THDi < 48% at 80% load or THDi < 5% with low harmonic offer)
  • Stop and Go function to reduce energy consumption in standby mode
  • Asset monitoring and protection
  • Drift monitoring
  • Easy maintenance (Dynamic QR-Code)
  • Seamless integration with embedded Ethernet:
    • Device to process control with the Smart Process Objects.
    • Data to insights with the embedded Web Server.
  • Worldwide Industry Standards Compliance

The new dynamic QR codes on Altivar drives is a great example of leveraging technology to improve operations and maintenance efficiency.  The drives display Dynamic QR codes that users scan with their mobile device to access immediate, specific troubleshooting information and manuals to efficiently perform maintenance and solve problems. This provides a level of interaction in real-time between users and machines while leveraging mobile devices to improve efficiency and lower MTTR (Mean Time To Repair).

Drives display Dynamic QR codes that users scan to get immediate specific troubleshooting information and manuals on their smart phones and tablets.

Schneider Industry 4.0 & IIoT Commitment

Dr. Rainer Beudert, Marketing Director of Machine Solutions, discussed real customer examples of applications that integrate sensor to enterprise.  He described real-world applications using SERCOS connections to do real-time coordination of machine to machine operations. OPC UA embedded in devices have standardized communications to implement Industry 4.0 and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications. Beudert emphasized that Schneider Electric is committed to participate and support harmonized standards that users can rely upon. These standard include PackML, OPC UA, and PLCopen, all of which simplify system integration.

“A smart machine is based on smart components.”

- Dr. Rainer Beudert, Marketing Director Machine Solutions

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